The Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling a House During the Winter

Much like the weather, the housing market tends to be rock cold during the winter months, making it a less than perfect time to offer a home in many parts of the nation. Of course, not everyone has the high-end of waiting till the spring to put their home on the marketplace. The good news: there are a number of advantages to selling a home throughout the winter. Though the market might be slow-moving, your residence makes sure to get even more focus from potential purchasers that aren’t eager or able to wait till the warmer months to purchase a residence. If you’re considering detailing your residence this wintertime, take a look at our benefits and drawbacks list below.


Limited stock indicates less competition
During the winter, there are normally much less houses available than during the spring or summer season. This tightens the house options for purchasers, making it more likely that a purchaser would seriously take into consideration acquiring your house. Besides, there’s less competition from various other “available for sale” homes, as well as limited choices for buyers. When there are less residences to buy in your area, it also becomes easier to make your residence stick out from the competition.

Winter season is a great time to highlight a residence’s power effectiveness
Is your home energy effective? If so, marketing throughout the cold months could be an outstanding method to highlight some of your home’s large selling points. Nevertheless, every homebuyer is trying to find means to save money on energy expenses. A winterized house that already has desirable power efficient features will definitely make a great impression on potential homebuyers. Power efficient attributes to highlight consist of smart thermostats, photovoltaic panels, quality home window treatments, power effective dual-pane windows, brand-new attic room insulation, a more recent COOLING AND HEATING system, recently cleaned duct as well as vents, and also a tankless water heater.

Purchasers are typically a lot more motivated
Rarely do customers go home searching during the winter months just for fun. Besides, it’s chilly outside. It’s not likely that tossing an open home will certainly attract casual purchasers and also snoopy neighbors throughout the December to March period. While there may be much less purchasers throughout the winter season, you can wager that the purchasers that are about are really more inspired. Perhaps they’re moving for work functions or probably they desperately require a larger residence, whatever the factor– wintertime customers have a tendency to be more major. This benefits vendors who are wanting to market their home quickly and also for a great rate.

A a lot more concentrated and also motivated property representative
With less listings throughout the cold weather, you can wager that your Real estate agent will certainly be extra determined to offer your residence than they would be in the spring or summer months. Additionally, they can devote even more time to advertising as well as marketing a house throughout the winter season than they can during various other parts of the year. If you wish to have your Real estate agent’s undistracted interest, we recommend providing during the cold weather.


Will need to function tougher to make home interesting purchasers
There’s no question concerning it– aesthetic allure is usually lacking throughout the winter season. From dead trees as well as plant life (in addition to, no potted plants) to icy driveways as well as snowy yards, a residence does not generally look its ideal throughout chilly months. The good news is, there are things homeowners can do to improve visual charm– it’s simply going to take even more time and effort than it or else would certainly. Shoveling driveways, cranking up the heat, as well as repairing air leakages are just a few ways sellers can enhance the appeal of a house. They’ll additionally need to see to it the house is safe for customers by salting any type of icy as well as unsafe walkways.

Leaving your house for provings is harder
Showing your house to prospective customers isn’t going to be very easy during the wintertime. That’s since most homeowners are aiming to leave their homes as low as possible when it’s freezing cool outside. Unlike throughout the spring or summer season when you can just go to a park or opt for a stroll outside while prospective buyers take a look at your home, you’ll be constrained to your vehicle and/or you’ll need to find somewhere (ideally with warm) to remain throughout those eleventh hour provings.

Less likely to have a bidding war
The real estate market typically isn’t as hot as it is during the springtime or summer months, which means there will likely be much less buyers interested in your house. Less buyers implies less of a possibility that you’re mosting likely to obtain several deals on your residence. Without several buyers competing for your property, you may not get the highest possible price possible for your house. After all, even more competition from buyers is constantly a good idea when it concerns selling your home.

The kids are in college
From after school tasks to homework, there are going to be a lot of school-related obligations to manage throughout the winter season. The youngsters will certainly additionally have many holidays off, suggesting they’ll be residence while you’re attempting to reveal and offer your home. Additionally, moving to a brand-new house with school-age children in the middle of an active school year isn’t always ideal.

Prepared to relocate this winter season?
Relocating throughout the winter is much easier when you have experts to aid with the heavy lifting. To locate the best relocating firm to manage your cold weather step, check’s considerable network of trustworthy and dependable moving companies. All relocation business in our network are certified and also insured, so you can rest assured that your relocation will be in excellent hands. For those moving themselves this winter season, we advise considering neighboring vehicle services. Simply see to it you select the one that best fits your budget plan and requirements. For additional information and also discount rates on different rental truck companies, check out’s truck rental center. Best of luck as well as satisfied relocating!

How to Establish Real Estate Business

This article becomes part of our Real Estate Company Start-up Overview– a curated checklist of write-ups to help you prepare, start, as well as grow your property company!

If you read this post, there’s a likelihood you enjoy speaking to others, constructing connections, and assisting– you’re a people person. As well as in terms of productivity, property is a strong wager for several that are looking for easy investment streams, or to construct a solution that remains in high demand in many parts of the US.

A little bit regarding the resources in this article:
I talked to greater than 13 real estate representatives for this short article! Unsurprisingly, there’s some feedback that seems to hold true across the board, consisting of the value of having a good online visibility, a solid understanding of SEO, a specific niche or a well-defined target audience, fantastic people skills, and also the ability to manage your contacts and links.


Action 1: Planning
Whether you’re beginning a property business, an edge coffeehouse, or a business that makes rocket components, it’s an excellent suggestion to create an organization strategy. Company preparation makes you much more effective– it’s been scientifically confirmed!

Not only will working through the planning process motivate you to think about important points like exactly how you’re placed to compete with comparable services, and just how much cash money you’ll require to in fact get going, it will also aid you validate your suggestion as well as get involved in a routine of setting objectives and also landmarks.

According to real estate investor Eric Bowlin, the purpose of an organization plan is twofold. He claims, “First, it gives you a means to formalize your objectives as well as instructions. Extra significantly, it is a paper that you can provide to lending institutions or capitalists to clearly illustrate not only your direction however where you are as well as how you arrived.” During the preparation procedure, Eric obtained a lot of fantastic recommendations from a regional Local business Development Center.

If you haven’t had any experience in the realty market, it’s an excellent suggestion to get recommendations from somebody that has. Property representative Jamal Asskoumi of Castle Smart claims, “If you yourself are not straight involved in realty, then it’s finest to locate a person that is, at the planning stage. They’ll understand a great deal even more of the do’s and do n’ts.”.

Naturally, you could constantly decrease the course of taking official training courses on the topic, or checking out the appropriate books (see the sources area at the end of this write-up).

Devices like LivePlan make business preparation process also easier, directing you via each section. The same holds true of sample business strategies– take a look via a few of the free example realty service intend on Bplans.

Resources to aid you plan your business:.
Free Real Estate Example Business Program.
Just how to Compose a Business Prepare For a Deal With and Turn Property Business.
Free Business Strategy Template.
How to Compose an Organization Strategy in Under a Hr.
The Various Sorts Of Business Plans.
Introducing Lean Preparation: How to Plan Much Less and also Grow Faster.

Action 2: Market research and concept validation.
Exactly how do you recognize you’ve obtained a suggestion that will work? Just how do you recognize you’ve chosen a particular niche in the realty market that in fact has a target market? Exactly how do you find out how to position yourself within this specific niche?

These inquiries as well as a lot more like them can be addressed in the preliminary marketing research phase. By performing both primary as well as additional market research, you provide on your own a more comprehensive idea of whether or not the target audience you have actually selected is useful sufficient to pursue.

Naturally, there’s no one-fits-all approach to finding out what particular niche you’re finest served to aid– and the selection of feedbacks we received from realty agents throughout the USA is evidence of that.

Do marketing research early.
Putting in the time to do your marketing research early will additionally save you both money and time. Michelle Stansbury, a real estate agent at Bluegrass Allies Trust Real estate claims, “My initial year was a great deal of fumbling around finding out what didn’t work. My 2nd year I tripled my organization.”.

Do market research to analyze your very own abilities.
Brad Pauly, the proprietor of Pauly Presley Real estate, took the very same trial and error technique but for him, it was a great way to find out his own staminas and weak points. “I identified my target market with experimentation,” he says. “When I began in the sector, I wouldn’t turn away any organization! When I recognized my strengths, I focused on them. 4 years after I was licensed, I got my broker’s permit as well as produced the firm we have today.”.

If you’re uncertain of your very own staminas and weak points, carrying out a SWOT analysis can help you figure them out.

Get some real-world experience or find a mentor.
If you’re a doer first, another course to marketing research is to simply act as well as start doing things. Many people do not have the additional time or cash to do this, however if you do, helpful for you, it’s as valid a method as any kind of. Morgan Franklin, an accredited realty agent based out of Lexington, Kentucky, claims, “I was certain [my suggestion] was going to function due to the fact that I had actually already created enough organization to pay all of my startup expenditures before I took my real estate exam.”.

Nonetheless, Morgan did spend some time working for a real estate attorney so he had a little bit of expertise prior to diving in. “If you have no experience, I would strongly advise a brand-new agent to discover a coach to collaborate with for the very first year or more,” he recommends. If you haven’t had much exposure to the industry, going the “advisor” path is an excellent suggestion.

That said, Morgan did do a fair little bit of research himself. When asked how he found out that his target market was, he responded, “I checked out the volume of sales in my city, from the residential or commercial property evaluation administrator, and afterwards looked for the ‘sweet area.’ That is where the bulk of the volume of deals was occurring. From there, I aimed for the upper end of that team.”.

Cheryl Julcher, the Handling Broker at Yellow Brick Feature, did her marketing research, but additionally chose to start in a location she felt passionate about. “Below at Yellow Block, we are all about healthy, secure, comfy, and also smart houses– eco-conscious and sustainable housing,” she discusses.

” We went with our enthusiasm, which is what I would recommend anyone to do,” states Cheryl. “Select the marketplace industry– millennials, empty nesters, etc.– that you respect the most and also are most educated regarding.”.

If you have solid sensations about a particular industry, opportunities are it’s an excellent area to at least start doing your marketing research.

Market research resources:.
Exactly how to Do Marketing research.
Practical Marketing Research Resources for Entrepreneurs.
Know Your Market Before You Start Your Business.
Exactly how Do You Know If You Have a Great Concept for a Business?
What Is Target Advertising?
What Is a SWOT Analysis?

New Call-to-action.
Step 3: Branding.

Branding is important for services of every dimension. If you have actually obtained a memorable brand, it’s simpler to develop reputation, look bigger than you are, draw in consumers, and as a whole be the initial person or business people think of.

According to branding specialist Sara Conte of Brand Genie, “Although you can influence your brand name with properly designed logos, hilarious advertising campaign, very carefully crafted press releases, or super-friendly service, inevitably, your brand is what the outside world says it is.”.

Essentially, your reputation is your brand.

Branding idea # 1: Your track record is all to your connections.
Real estate agent Jamal Asskoumi, of Castle Smart, recognizes this well; not only does he believe in the value of setting yourself apart from the competition, but additionally in the importance of your connections with your clients.

” When branding in realty, attempt to make it as personal as feasible. This is a business which depends greatly on communication and also building connections. Ensure your company emanates the same inviting smile you have.”.

Be someone individuals intend to straighten themselves with. You are the brand, after all.

Real estate agent Tim Frie takes this idea an action even more. He claims, “Building a credibility is more crucial than developing a brand in real estate … plus, constructing an online reputation is a lot much easier than building a brand.”.

Branding suggestion # 2: Give value and give individuals what they need.
Reputation and authenticity seem to work together in property. Michael Kelczewski a property agent for Brandywine Penalty Feature Sotheby’s International, really feels that individuals can sense non-verbal signs and behavior patterns. As a result, there’s much less that can fail if you behave authentically.

Investor, Eric Bowlin, holds the very same belief. “Realty is in fact regarding people more than the land,” he states. “As a small business in property, I think it’s more about branding on your own than branding business. Make individuals wish to work with you.”.

Branding pointer # 3: Artistically create your own area.
If, nonetheless, you take pride in having the creative chops to brand something that sticks out since it’s brand-new and cutting-edge, you have an unique chance.

Cheryl Julcher of Yellow Block Feature separated her brand from competitors by creating a brand of houses called Zoetic Houses ™. “Each residence features a nutrition label, is top quality confirmed by an independent third party, and is ensured to have a design that matches actual efficiency.”.

Branding tip # 4: Be the go-to expert.
Being a professional in your sector is an additional fantastic way to establish on your own apart. For Morgan Franklin, the secret active ingredients were video clip as well as an active social media sites existence.

” I have actually branded myself as a neighborhood professional and have separated myself through making use of social media sites, and also much more specifically, video,” claims Morgan. “I hold an once a week property show that is published to YouTube as well as Facebook. This has actually been massive as it has linked my brand name with higher-end homes even though I haven’t had those listings.”.

On the flipside, if you’re young and also inexperienced, you could have as great a chance to offer on your own. “Sell your lack of experience (as well as youth if that applies to you) as an asset,” states representative Michelle Stansbury. “You will be starving to succeed and also are more probable to function more challenging to obtain residences sold than the agents who have actually currently ‘made it.’ Lack of experience isn’t a complete weak point and do not let anyone convince you that it is.”.

Resources to aid you build a brand name:.
The Conclusive Guide to Building a Brand.
Your Brand name’s Intonation: Why It Matters and also Just How to Craft It.
Branding Checklist: 10 Basics Before Release [Free Download and install] The Illustrated How-to Guide to Building a Brand name.

Tip 4: Making it legal.
Among the most effective aspects of getting involved in real estate is that for a lot of states, there’s truly only one examination you require to pass. Research study hard, and also you might be able to do it in a couple of months. Naturally, this varies somewhat from one state to another, so ensure to sign in with your very own state regarding policies and also policies.

In Florida, for example, you do not require to be a property agent or a broker in order to open up a realty business. According to Tim Frie, “You simply require a broker-of-record who is a policeman or manager of the firm who is in charge of supervising the activities and also deals of the sales partners.”.

The Realty Preparation Overview internet site is a terrific place to discover examination preparation materials or to get a preference of what the property exam in your state appears like.

Of course, real estate certifications aside, there are some points that you can do pretty beforehand, consisting of determining a name for your business, registering stated name, making an application for a Federal Tax Obligation ID, and obtaining any essential organization licenses as well as permits.

For Tim, selecting a firm name was a strategic action. “My companions and also I selected something very close to residence: a mix of two of our names. A great deal of remarkable realty firms are called similar to this: Coldwell Banker, Keller William, Engel & Volkers, Long, and Foster. Not just did we want to replicate what was already shown in the sector, yet through the manner in which we supply service, we desired something really deep to leave behind as a legacy that was an outcome of our hard work and also dedication.”.

Several other property agents likewise simply choose their very own name, as it’s a great means to connect your organization to your personal brand name.

Providing you understand what points you require to get done to start, the process of in fact getting started isn’t all that tough. “Develop a firm, register your DBA, make sure you remain in excellent standing with all boards and also compensations,” says Brad Pauly owner of Pauly Presley Real estate, noting some vital points you need to do to start. He also encourages striving entrepreneurs to look into obtaining responsibility insurance coverage. That’s crucial!

If you’re still worried about where to begin and also just how to make it “legal,” real estate broker James Brooks advises speaking with an attorney who focuses on property regulation.

Resources to assist you make it legal:
The Complete Guide to Deciding On Your Company Structure.
The Complete Overview to Registering Your Company Name.
Just how to Select a Brand Name That Can Be Trademarked.
Resources as well as Tools to Assist You Name Your Business.
Just how to Call Your Company.
How as well as Where to Obtain Company Licenses and Permits.
Maintain Your Startup Safe from Legal Difficulty.

Tip 5: Getting funded.
Among the excellent aspects of getting started in the property industry is that having a significant amount of money handy isn’t constantly necessary.

It’s likewise a service that you can start part-time while you’re still holding down a day task (though of course, you might need a versatile employer to ensure that you duck aside to occasionally take telephone call).

Joshua Jarvis, the proprietor of Jarvis Group Real estate, claims, “The start-up expense to release in realty is extremely reduced. I made use of the savings I had as well as for less than $1,000 I was able to begin. Currently my regular monthly budget plan is 10 times this, yet you do not truly require any type of money to start– or so most think.”.

The actual thing to think of, according to Joshua, is cash flow. “Do not simply calculate the startup price, determine ‘carrying cost,'” he states. “As in, the amount of months it will certainly take you to start capital. In realty, there are a great 60 days or even more prior to you could get paid.”.

For Hollywood property agent, Gwen Banta, getting the finances to take the job seriously had a whole lot to do with other income streams to start with, including her job as an actress as well as writer.

If you do discover that you require financier funding or a small business loan, writing a service plan is a solid first step.

Realty agent Jamal Asskoumi, took the financial resources for his organization from personal cost savings. “If you can not fund the project yourself, ensure you understand exactly how as well as where to find investors,” he claims. “Additionally, develop a flawless organization strategy to provide to them.”.

If you’re questioning what a property service strategy resembles, take a look at a few of our complimentary sample realty organization strategies. They’ll provide you an excellent idea of just how to structure your very own plan. Likewise, make sure to check out the sources listed below, including our guides on funding and pitching, which will assist you when it comes time to present to a financier or a bank.

Financing resources:
Just how to Obtain Your Service Funded.
35 Great Ways to Fund a Small Company.
Approximating Realistic Start-up Costs.
Exactly how to Pitch and also Get Moneyed.
The Full Overview to SBA Loans.

Action 6: Setting up shop.
For the majority of people starting in property, an office area isn’t required. At this starting stage, the emphasis is truly much more on constructing a reputation within your selected niche.

Real estate investor Eric Bowlin says, “The substantial bulk of individuals I understand that operate in real estate have actually begun in their own house. It’s more crucial to choose a target audience than to stress over an area for your storefront. At startup, you require to be versatile and also able to swiftly change your strategy if it’s not functioning. A physical place will certainly tie you to that market as well as make you less flexible while all at once including expenses.”.

Obviously, there might come a time when you do wish to discover a business area, employ staff members, and get set up with the right modern technology. However, working with workers isn’t for everyone. Eric claims, “I’ve had staff members in the past and I will certainly never ever hire a worker once more. The government laws for employees is far also challenging as well as expensive. Rather, everybody I deal with is treated like a specialist and also offered a 1099.”.

When it involves innovation, terrific customer partnership management software program and also a common inbox solution appears to be the realty representative’s treasured possession. Cheryl Julcher does not dice her words: “Our vital innovation is our CRM, and the capability to work from anywhere 24/7.”.

And also she’s not the only one who advises making use of a device that aids you handle your get in touches with. For owner Joshua Jarvis, a good CRM is virtually crucial, and also it’s something lots of property agents forget. “The only actual piece of modern technology that might not be common sense is a data source. Whether it’s an advanced CRM or simply Outlook, this is huge. Your data source is your organization.”.

If you have not currently been encouraged, succeeding in real estate comes down to those personal links you make, whether you’ve obtained a real-life office place. If you do work with workers, see to it they’re an excellent fit with your values and also your brand initially. After all, you don’t want to harm the fantastic track record you have actually spent a lot time structure.

Resources to assist you start a business:.
Exactly how to Select an Organization Location.
Is It Time to Employ a Staff member?
Exactly how to Employ Your First Staff Member.
Just how to Choose the Best CRM for Your Business.

Step 7: Marketing and introducing.
Ask any property representative how they market their business, and also you’ll discover that “Search Engine Optimization” as well as “a great internet presence” prevail reactions. Past the called for networking you’ll need to do, keeping an on the internet visibility in your property specific niche is crucial to your success.

Again, we go back to the importance of your individual partnerships with people. Getting company is everything about seeing individuals, wherever they are, though it’s just as important to have an on the internet existence to make sure that individuals can locate you themselves!

Tim Frie says, “A great deal of realty marketing is based upon developing connections, as well as you can do that a lot of efficiently by blending an online method with a conventional outreach as well as connection technique.”.

If you do not have any kind of consumers, a good place to start is to connect to individuals in your existing network. “Tell them regarding what you’re doing,” Tim says. “Ask if they understand any person that you can give value to. If you’re brand-new and starting, you need to put on your own in situations that permit you to develop brand-new connections, meet new people, and give value simply by being on your own. Once people like you, they’ll correlate your name with ‘realty’ when they themselves or somebody they know want to purchase or offer a house.”.

Interior Decoration

Don’t Start in the Furnishings Store
Numerous have heard the suggestions to prevent grocery buying when you’re hungry, since it causes bad choices. The very same applies for furniture shops– don’t shop in a panic, just because you have a vacant house. Yes, you require a sofa. Yet if you pick the pink-striped sectional just because you like it in the shop, without taking dimensions or thinking about the rest of the space, you’re stayed with it. The remainder of the room will certainly have to be built around that sofa, as well as if it’s as well big for the space it will look permanently awkward.

Begin in the space you’re aiming to furnish, armed with a gauging tape as well as a notepad.

Know Your Dimensions
Matching the range of furnishings to the range of a space is essential. A deep sectional sofa can conveniently subdue a small area as well as graceful chairs can obtain shed in a wide-open loft. Before you begin creating, determine the length and size of each space you plan to enhance, along with the ceiling elevation as well as components that might hinder– stairways, columns, radiators and other obstructions. It’s likewise a good idea to measure window openings, in addition to the wall surface space listed below, above and sideways of every one, to get ready for window coverings.

” The very first mistake most individuals make is that they buy things that are the incorrect dimension– sofas that don’t fit in the room, couches that do not fit through entrances, tables that are too small, workdesks that are as well huge, nightstands that hang into the entrance,” said David Kleinberg, creator of the New york city interior design company David Kleinberg Design Associates. Very carefully measuring your room can assist stay clear of such issues.

Create a Floorplan
As soon as you have the measurements of your room, it’s time to put them to utilize with a layout that gives you a bird’s eye view of the entire residence. “Every work needs to begin with a layout,” claimed Alexa Hampton, the president of Mark Hampton, the New York interior decoration firm established by her papa. “You require to recognize the area.”

One option is to attract a layout the old-fashioned method, with paper, a pencil as well as a leader. However, most professional developers utilize drafting software application like AutoCAD. In between those two extremes are applications that aim to make it simple for property owners to develop simple layout (some even automate measurements with your smartphone’s camera, but ascertain those numbers), including Magicplan, Layout Developer and RoomScan Pro.

As soon as you have the synopsis of the room, begin experimenting with the positioning of furniture, ensuring that the impact of each item is scaled to match the dimension of the drawing.

Decide Just How You Want to Live
This is the difficult part, as well as there are no right or wrong answers. Areas can be traditional or modern, official or loosened up, as well as aesthetically cozy or awesome. “To the very best of your capacity, you need to attempt to recognize how you want to live in an offered area,” claimed Ms. Hampton. “What will you be doing? The amount of people live there? Are there youngsters? What are your ambitions for how you want to live?”

The decoration of a residence for someone that on a regular basis hosts large dinner events, as an example, ought to be various from a house for someone who dines in restaurants at dining establishments every night. The person that plans to host lavish fundraising events ought to have a different living-room than the individual who dreams just of crashing in front of the TELEVISION.

Copy the Pros
Look in layout books and publications, in addition to at on the internet resources like Houzz, Pinterest and also Instagram to hone your personal style. “Identify the design that you reply to most,” stated Brad Ford, an interior designer in New York City, and establish a dossier of preferred images.

Once you have photos you like, study the information, suggested Mr. Kleinberg. “See where pattern is used versus where solids are utilized, as well as where shade can be made use of successfully or otherwise,” he stated. It will likewise assist inform everything from the kind of furniture you may such as to a potential approach for window treatments.

Tape It Out
To take ideas on a floor plan one step further, use painter’s tape in the real space to lay out where furniture will be placed on floors and against walls.

” We make use of blue tape on the floor to box out different aspects,” said Anne Maxwell Foster, an owner of the New York interior decoration firm Tilton Fenwick. “Where will the rug be? Does it require to be reduced? Exactly how far is the coffee table appearing? Although we have every little thing to a sixteenth of an inch on a furniture plan, there’s something helpful concerning visualizing it in the space, and also having the ability to walk around.”

Establish a Budget
There’s no navigating the mathematics: If you spend lavishly on an unexpectedly expensive chair, you’ll have much less money offered for the rest of the house. “You intend to make sure you’re being critical regarding how you invest your money,” said Mr. Ford. “A budget plan provides you a roadmap for how to split the costs of things between spaces.” You can still make an exemption if you discover an unique dining table, he kept in mind, but in order to spend for it you have be thoughtful concerning where else you can cut down.

Strategy the Phases
Completing drywall, redecorating hardwood floorings as well as paint ceilings is all unpleasant job. If at all feasible, it’s much better to have this sort of job finished prior to relocating any type of furniture or accessories right into the room.

If it can’t be avoided, seal huge furniture under plastic drop cloths as well as devices in boxes with tape to protect them.